• Night 1: The Nightmare

    "Morpheus." The voice was back. "You've fallen asleep again." The figure came into view.
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    Morpheus recognized him from his Mythology class. It was Hypnos. Greek god of sleep. "You have to accept it Morpheus." Hypnos whispered. The darkness that surrounded him began to breathe and take shape. "You have to accept it before it's too late." The darkness formed an evil looking horse.
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    The horse was fierce and untamed. It began to charge Morpheus. "Embrace it and save the world." The horse reared and came down on Morpheus. "Become the Nightmare."

    Morpheus woke in a cold sweat. He panted heavily as he leaned forward in his computer chair. All the lights in his room were on and the bed remained made and untouched. Dust had begun to settle on the sheets. BING! He had recieved an instant message from his IM buddy, GrayEyedGoddess.

    GrayEyedGoddess: Hey!

    RedPill: Sorry Gray. Fell asleep.

    GrayEyedGoddess: OMG! R u okay?

    RedPill: Yeah, I'm fine. I'm going 2 the clinic 2maro. I had the dream again.

    GrayEyedGoddess: Do you know what it means?

    RedPill: I have my guesses.

    The two continued talking until morning. That's when Morpheus got dressed and went to Elysium Mental Institute. As he entered he was greeted by one of the Institute's Doctors. He said good morning and informed Morpheus he was late for the therapy session in the meeting hall. He was rather busy with a blue haired boy so Morpheus just said thank you and went to the session.

    Morpheus entered the meeting hall.
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    He spotted an empty chair next to Valda. Another frequenter at the Institute, Valda suffered from insomnia as well. In fact everyone at the meeting did. Valda was mauled at the circus by an escaped tiger and had the emotional and physical scars to prove it.
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    "Sup?" Morpheus whispered as he took a seat. Valda smiled slightly and gave a wave only the two could see. She then crossed her arms and slouched in her chair. Valda was in her late teens, and Morpheus had a real thing for her. She was a very attractive young woman who had grown into her body very, very well. She would argue the point because of her scars though. The first time she looked in the mirror after the incident, Valda had believed she'd never be physically appealing.
    The therapist cleared his throat and all eyes turned to him.
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    Dr. Remy. He was an old man, was very wise and always seemed to give off a warm feeling to those around him. "Well," he spoke clearly so the whole circle could hear him. "Valda has volunteered to start the introductions today. Valda?"
    Valda stood up and looked around. It wasn't always the same group of people. Sometimes there were new patients, and sometimes they were old patients that never went to a meeting Valda was at. So it was customary to explain a few things to everyone. "Hi." She said with a smile and then looked at the floor to hide her face, "I'm Valda. I've been coming to Elysium for almost five years." She always cried when she told this story so Morpheus held out his hand. She took it and continued talking as she looked up and wiped away tears, "I used to love cats." She sniffled. "When I was fourteen I was a lion tamer for Halloween. For my fifteenth birthday my parents took me to the circus. It was a big deal to me because Adamas was the main attraction. Adamas was a beautiful tiger and they actually let kids ride him after the show. I was so excited." She cut off, choked back a sob and pushed on, still holding Morpheus' hand, "My turn came around and I got on. As we started i got really into it. I was screaming for joy! Adamas was enjoying it to. I know this because he started he slowed his pace as if he was back in the center ring and showing off. I began shouting to the other kids, 'I am Valda the Marvelous! World's best tamer and friend of Adamas!' When I had to get off Adamas licked my hand and as I patted his head someone in the crowd threw a shoe at him. He was caught off guard and thought I had hurt him." She began crying hard, "He was only following his instincts. He was trying to protect himself." There was a silence as Morpheus stood up and Valda sobbed into his shoulder. When she had calmed down she pressed Morpheus away slightly. He got the hint that he needed to sit down again. "He attacked me. I was in the hospital for three days. I would have nightmares about Adamas tearing me apart. The nightmares got worse when i heard they had to put him down because of what he did. Ever since then I've continued to have nightmares and I run screaming when I see a cat of any kind." She sat back down.
    "Thank you Valda." Dr. Remy jotted down something on his clipboard and looked up to ask, "Who's next?"
    Morpheus stood up and cleared his throat. "Hey, I'm Morpheus." He looked around at the new comers, "Since I was born I've been an insomniac by choice. I suffer chronic nightmares when I fall asleep, so I've decided to take meds to keep me awake at night. By the way doc I need a refill. I fell asleep last night."
    "Tell me about it." Dr. Remy said. Looking around cautiously, Morpheus told everyone about his nightmare. Dr. Remy had always found Morpheus to be an interesting case. He lived a normal life, had never been severely traumatized, and yet he still suffered from nightmares that woke him and caused him to find ways to stay awake no matter what. "See me after the meeting Morpheus."

    Once everyone had gone and the meeting was over Morpheus stayed behind. "You wanted to see me Dr. Remy?"
    "Yes." Dr. Remy took out a bottle of pills. He gave the bottle to Morpheus who opened it and looked inside. With a look of curiosity Morpheus took out a pill and examined it.
    "These are blue." He said with a twinge of anger.
    "They're new." The doctor explained, "These won't keep you up. In fact as soon as you swallow it you should fall fast asleep."
    "Doc I,"
    "You have to trust me Morpheus. I've been your psychiatrist for as long as you've had nightmares."
    Morpheus thought about it. "But why would you want me to sleep?"
    "If you allow the nightmare to finish. You may learn more about why it keeps happening."

    With a heavy heart and feeling like his psychiatrist had let him down, Morpheus began to walk home. He held the bottle in his hand and never took his eyes off them.
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    "Hey Morph?" Morpheus jumped as he was snapped out of his focus on the pills. Valda was a few short steps behind him.
    "Hey Val." Morpheus pocketed the pill bottle. "What's up?"
    "I didn't mean to eavesdrop." Valda looked down. "Okay, well I did. But... I think you should do it." Morpheus was shocked. Valda continued, "I of all people know what it's like to suffer through nightmares. But I have something that might help you." She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small doll.
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    "I made this for you." She gave the small doll to Morpheus. "I call it a dream guard. I have one myself. It really helps me. Maybe yours will help you."
    Morpheus looked the doll over. "You made this?" Valda smiled and nodded. "Thank you. This is the coolest." Turning red and blushing so violently her scars turned hot pink. Valda waved quickly and ran off. With a curious look at the doll and a smile as he watched Valda run away, Morpheus headed home.